Thursday, December 31, 2020

Top Ten Posts of 2020

It's been quite the year hasn't it? With 80% of it spent in quarantine, my ability to find new stuff and post about it has been severely hampered. In peak OSS days, Nick and I could have reviewed over 200 products. This year?, 80 products reviewed actually. Ok, so not totally terrible (note: a few of those products appear on a single post). A quick tip of the cap to those companies that helped supply any of those reviews, it was definitely a help with my regular routine thrown in to such disarray. Ok, should we jump to it then?

Looking at the numbers, the top 6 (and in particular #1), are pretty well locked in. That said, the 7-10 spots are a bit... I don't want to say misleading, how about subjective? I feel like 7-16 could be rearranged and it would still make sense. In fact, I compared my blogger stats (what people are searching for) to my analytics (what people actually clicked on), and you can see this group is fairly... fluid [I should have said melted].

To put it another way, if we go by just analytics, Talenti and Magnum don't make the Top Ten! Can you believe that?! I've got 7 Talenti reviews this year and and they all trended meh on the blog (over on instagram, the big hits were the pumpkin pie layered flavor and the coconut layered flavor). I only had two magnum reviews this year and it was the mini ruby bars that got the most attention.

Friendly's (3 reviews) and Tillamook (1 review) also don't make it but those brands are a bit more regional and also didn't really do anything too crazy other than Friendly's cherry pie flavor that tried breaking in to the top ten. 
#10 Klondike Donuts - so many jokes at the expense of getting less product for the same money (aka the whole in the middle). They are novel, but not necessarily clever. I would have liked to see more creativity with the actual flavors.

#9 So Delicious Oatmilk S'mores - the only non-dairy entry comes in at #9. Hey, at least it made the list and it's a great example of what frozen non-dairy dessert can be.
#8 Breyers Cinnabon FDD - thankfully the only frozen dairy dessert that made it on the list. I get it though, the Cinnabon name got everyone's attention.

#7 Haagen-Dazs Soft Dipped Vanilla Ice Cream Bars - another one that got people's attention but also something I won't buy again. I find the weird rubbery coating a factor that I can not overlook.

Ok, now we take things up a notch (we jump up clicks/searches)

#6 Cool Jacks Super Jack Ice Cream sandwich - these were a big hit on instagram. Superman ice cream isn't a big thing in New England but this one is certainly eye catching... and tasty. Can't forget the tasty part. These are made in Michigan and I'm glad they are here in our area now (at Wegman's).

#5 Cheesecake Factory at Home : Birthday Cake - I did four CFaH reviews and this was the most popular while also being the least tasty. Goes to show you that catchiness and tastiness do not go hand in hand.

#4 Ben & Jerry's Netflix & Chilll'd - There are our old friends Ben & Jerry! Luckily I got to try this one at work before the pandemic hit (aka the reason that not all four Netflix flavors are on the top ten list)

#3 Ben & Jerry's Chip Happens - back to back wins for B&J's here. I'm not complaining...  wait, I can complain about the fact that they didn't do much besides the Netflix stuff and the fan favorites... wait, their was the Whole Foods exclusive Berry Sweet Mascarpone but I missed that as well.

#2 Haagen-Dazs Heaven light ice cream - while not amazing, there is definitely interest for this lighter variety of Haagen-Dazs. Will it stick around? meh, I wouldn't count on it (I figure this or the spirits line (or both) aren't destined for long life spans).

and now, the number one post 

#1 Nick's light ice cream - I got our old friend Nick to review Nick's light ice cream. Why didn't I do it? Because me and sugar replacement don't like each other and this particular light ice cream uses a mix of all the sugar replacement treatments to get pints that range in calories from 230 to 360 calories a pint (yeah, per pint, not per serving!). Two thoughts here: One, this may have gotten a little extra traction because it linked back to a contest Nick's was having. Two, this probably got extra traction due to them being new to the market but also a reflection of the ultra light fad that we've seen over the last two years. Both of those things said, I'm a firm believer that the ultra light fad has already peaked. Sure, I could be wrong, but we've seen how quickly halo top popped and now they share a single freezer section with other dying brands. I've always had the feeling that the major brands jumped on this one too quickly (probably in part because of halo top claiming so much success) and we've already seen several product lines die.

and that's that!

So, what do you think of the list this year? Was your favorite on it? Are there things you loved that I never reviewed? Any and all comments are welcome. Be well, eat well and I hope you have an excellent 2021!


  1. I think the Cheesecake Factory ice creams are some of the best new ice cream products to come out in the past year or so. Ironically, the Birthday Cake one is my second favorite just behind Cookies & Cream, so my top pick did show up on your the "least tasty" of its kind. Hah! To each their own. I'm just happy it made the list.

    Thank you for another delicious year of reviews and reasons to stalk the ice cream aisles at my local stores!

  2. Does anyone know if all or many of the Ben and Jerry's moophoria flavors have been discontinued? I never tried any but was hoping to but can't find them...

  3. @Kim: HA! I should have been more specific and said that I greatly prefer their more traditional flavors that also include the graham cracker component :)

    @Deb: I would expect these to go away just like I expect the light Haagen-Dazs to go away. We already lost caramel cookie fix and I expect more of these to be tagged as clearance at places like Stop & Shop in the next month or two.

  4. Yay!! I always love reading the end of year review. I happened to buy 2 things on this list. 1) The Klondike Triple Chocolate Donuts. I bought these a few months ago only because they were 75% off, and I am not sad to see them go because they tasted just like a double dark chocolate Klondike Bar. Nothing was done to give them a "donut" flavor. 2) Ben and Jerry's Chip Happens. The potato chip swirl was the only good thing about this. Otherwise, this was just a boring chocolate ice cream and that's not a good thing. I am not sad to see either of them go.
    I remember last year saying that I want some epic new flavors in 2020. I wanted something that will take peanut butter, or the combination of chocolate and peanut butter to the next level. I am not sure that I can say that happened. Ben and Jerry's attempted it with their Netflix and Chilled, but that is about it. I don't remember seeing anything else from other companies that was eye catching. With that said, I have low expectations for 2021. I don't know what new flavors are being already churned in the factories or what the new fad will be. But I am not waiting with excitement.

  5. As I was writing up the top ten, I realized that I never made a 2020 product guide. reflecting on what would be on that guide, it does feel like a very lackluster year. We could blame covid, but 2020 stuff would have been created in 2019 when things were still normal.

    I might work on that guide this long weekend to verify if I missed anything big.


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